At the Gates of Technology

Landing the first gig is the one of the greatest challenges as a recent graduate or, like myself, an employee pursuing their journey into a new career path. Here are 5 tips for getting past the gatekeepers and landing your first opportunity:

(1) Network with intention

Networking is important but it’s even more vital to steward your time efficiently.

Tip 1: navigate to the platform(s) of interests’ website and find their community. Typically there is a community area, where there are user groups, highlighted experts, and forums with platform users

Sidenote: Twitter is great platform to interact with data experts, using #datafam #tableau #powerbi, etc. will help guide your search

(2) Help others on their journey

Helping others with the platforms that you are learning will develop skills in knowledge sharing and test your current abilities. It is also a natural way of networking and will get your name in front of people and businesses that are using the tools.

Tip 2: creating video walkthroughs on a YouTube channel will help bolster your understanding of the platform while developing numerous skillsets and potentially an audience

Sidenote: YouTube is an invaluable resource for learning any topic to an expert level, if used correctly

(3) Showcase your abilities

Create a portfolio of relevant projects to share with recruiters and highlight on social media pages. Your portfolio should prove capabilities and remove a degree of uncertainty from a recruiters or employers perspective.

Tip 3: using Tableau Public and promoting your work on Twitter will help with networking and increasing your exposure to opportunity

Sidenote: in some cases there are opportunities to do pro-bono work that will demonstrate your competencies and create value for society

(4) Centralize your information

Centralize your information using a WordPress site or an application like LinkTree. Creating a centralized spot for your social media and projects will decrease the costs of determining your skillsets and help recruiters and individuals your networking with find your portfolios and contributions.

Tip 4: centralizing your information will make it easier for companies and industry friends to connect with you across platforms

Sidenote: while there is a cost associated with this its typically manageable. With WordPress you can create your own domain and e-mail (e.g., jacob@jacobhitt.com)

(5) Be pro-active but respectful

Information Technology is filled with amazing people who are passionate about helping others who love to learn. They enjoy networking with problem solvers, lifetime learners, and those that seek to make positive contributions to technology and others professional development. If you reach out, there’s a good chance you will get a response — but keep in mind technology is a fast moving environment that can be hectic. It is important to be respectful of others time and understanding if you don’t hear back.

Tip 5: do your research before reaching out. Know you who you’re contacting and why you’re contacting them. If it’s a question, ensure it’s not easily addressed via a google search

Sidenote: have fun and make new friends!! Enjoy your journey into tech — everyone’s journey is unique and has their own story of breaking into the space!

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